A research study at University of Stanford tries to find out components in umbilical cord blood that can improve memory and learning in an ageing brain. When we age, there is a decline in our cognitive ability and an increased possibility of neurological disorders. The region of the brain which is associated with memory is known as the hippocampus, this region is highly vulnerable to age. The long-term memory of a person is also completely dependent on this area.

Two nerve cells of the brain are connected together by a junction called synapse. Most signals are transmitted only through this junction, but as we age the signals travelling from cell to cell slow down. Genes' stimulation on the cellular activity of the ageing brain is also reduced.

Studies say that the introduction of younger cells into various systems can reduce the aging process in respective cell types. This research was  initiated a decade ago on mice to revitalize the circulatory system of the old mouse. Although it proved successful in other systems, finding the factor that can revitalize the brain cells was difficult.

Recently, Tony Wyss-Coray’s research team decided to use cord blood plasma from younger humans in their developmental age to revitalize the ageing brain. The team published that as per their hypothetical assumption there were noticeable changes in memory.

The team used blood plasma from the umbilical cord blood of humans on mice at different intervals throughout their life. The cord blood was infused for 4 days every 2 weeks into the hippocampus of the mice. After these infusions the mice performed better at memory and learning tests. The study concluded that the infusion of umbilical cord blood significantly made the learning and memory skills of the mice better. Another question raised was how a person loses memory with age?  As the solution to this, the study showed the presence of a particular protein named Metallopeptidase inhibitor 2. This protein is important for rejuvenation of ageing brain that is present only in umbilical cord blood. So, the scientists concluded that the infusion of umbilical cord blood can be the sole reason for the improvement of memory and learning. The study was published as a finding that the presence of a specific component in umbilical cord blood  improved the memory and revitalized the aging brain.

With this finding, parents have a stronger reason to preserve their baby’s umbilical cord blood at birth! To find how to preserve your baby’s stem cells: https://goo.gl/jwYjmx

References:(1) Kaiser, J. (2017, April 19). Protein isolated from human cord blood has antiaging effects on memory in mice. Science Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/04/protein-isolated-human-cord-blood....

(2) Castellano, J.M., et al. 2017. Human umbilical cord blood plasma proteins revitalize hippocampal function in aged mice. Nature. 544(7651): 488-492.